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Flu season

(34 Posts)
Penguin27 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:08:53

I've heard that the flu season in Australia was particularly bad this year and they're expecting the same over here.

I just have some, probably dumb, questions that you lovely lot might be able to answer...

When does flu season start?
What are the initial symptoms and how does the illness progress?
How do you know if it's just a cold or actually flu?

Asking as this afternoon I've developed a sore throat, cold sores and now feel a bit run down sad it's probably not flu, I am a worrier!! Maybe this could be a flu support thread for anyone else that feels a bit rubbish.

MissConductUS Fri 06-Oct-17 21:19:34

It's not the flu, but sorry you're feeling poorly.

Both colds and the flu will cause upper respiratory symptoms - nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, etc. The flu will also present with significant fever, aches and pains and fatigue. The flu will truly knock you on your arse. It kills about 30,000 people per year in the US, mostly among the elderly. I get a bit peeved when people sniffle a bit and then announce that they have the flu.

The flu season starts about November in the states and runs until about March. I imagine it's the same in Europe.

Badders08 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:25:11

Unless you think you are going to die it's not flu!

Penguin27 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:28:05

Thanks Miss, I know realistically it's very unlikely that I have flu. I've never had flu but as I'm pregnant this year and apparently more vulnerable to it, it's just my hypochondria coming out wink

lokijet Fri 06-Oct-17 21:32:50

you can get a jab - usually local pharmacy etc do them - I get one every year and its usually less than a tenner

Judydreamsofhorses Fri 06-Oct-17 21:34:20

I think flu generally comes on quite suddenly, whereas a cold I usually have a sore throat, which is followed by a runny nose, then a cough, then a blocked nose, then the cough lingers - all accompanied by feeling generally hellish! I had flu about five years ago and it started on a Sunday afternoon - I felt shivery/sweating at about 5, by 10pm I was on the phone to NHS Direct thinking I was dying (I lived alone at the time) then was pretty much bed bound for a week. With a cold you're generally able to lie on the couch and watch crap telly, while periodically shuffling to the kitchen for cups of tea. With flu the thought of getting out of bed for a wee feels like someone's asked you to run a marathon.

ivykaty44 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:36:38

If there is a 500 note in the middle of a field someone with a cold will get the money - if you have flu you won’t

BrassicaBabe Fri 06-Oct-17 21:37:36

I had flu over xmas last year. I have never felt so bad in all my life. Achey, sweaty and wanted to die quickly I seem to remember. There was no confusing it with any cold I had ever had 😄

Penguin27 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:38:02

Lokijet, I have my jab booked at my GP surgery on 17th smile

Judy wow that sounds awful! It must have been quite scary to come on so quickly and be all by yourself too.

Commuterface Fri 06-Oct-17 21:40:10

I’ve had the flu quite a few times and every time it has come on really suddenly and starts with a cough. Deterioration is within hours. The best test is to ask yourself, while you think you’re dying in bed, would you get up to answer the door to someone wanting you give you £100? If the answer is no then you have the flu.

Commuterface Fri 06-Oct-17 21:40:52

Xpost Ivy grin

Badders08 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:40:58

Yes it's scary how quickly it comes on

ivykaty44 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:43:52

Incidentally the Spanish flu of 1919 killed more people world wide than had died in the WW1

MissConductUS Fri 06-Oct-17 22:24:57

I'm so glad you're getting the vaccine. Flu can cause very serious problems for the baby, who of course has no immunity at all, other than what you provide.

Good luck with the pregnancy and best wishes from the colonies. smile

Penguin27 Sat 07-Oct-17 05:29:44

Well it's definitely just a cold - feel rotten but I'd run across a field for £500 grin been awake all night though.

Thanks for the well wishes, Miss!

MissConductUS Sat 07-Oct-17 08:41:21

It might be allergies. Lots of people suffer seasonal allergies in the fall. As leaves come down off the trees and get wet you get leaf mold, among others.

Stop at the chemist and see what you can get over the counter for allergies. It might help quite a bit. I don't know exactly what to recommend because the drug names are different here but the chemist should be able to advise you.

muttleydosomething Sun 08-Oct-17 14:06:00

I get flu almost every autumn (low immunity, asthmatic), and the reality is that while it falls into the diagnosis of 'flu (high fever, could sleep for days uninterrupted, too sick to eat for days on end) there is no-one else to cook and look after my son for most of the week. Even if a family member felt like rescuing me they are three hours away. So, while I would happily not go into the street for the £100 note, I still cook meals I myself can't possibly eat before throwing myself back under the covers, and have to get dressed to do both school runs. I even (try to) entertain and read with my child! It annoys me when people say if you do these things it's not flu. Frankly, there is a huge amount you find you can do when you have others depending on you that you could never do if you were a person alone.

Penguin27 Sun 08-Oct-17 20:00:42

It must be very difficult to those in your situation muttley! flowers

Toomuchocolate Sun 08-Oct-17 20:02:44

You can have flu and not feel too ill. There are many different strains of flu, some can make you very poorly whilst some are as mild as a common cold.

MissConductUS Mon 09-Oct-17 01:04:41

There are many different strains of flu, some can make you very poorly whilst some are as mild as a common cold.

A mild reaction to a real influenza strain is likely because you have some immunity to that strain.

PollyPerky Mon 09-Oct-17 07:50:27

Real flu means you wouldn't get out of bed for £1m at the end of your garden, not a piddling £500!

All flus are a virus. If you have flu and don't feel really ill, then you have the cold virus, not flu.

EdithWeston Mon 09-Oct-17 08:08:49

It is possible to have a mild case of flu, just as it's possible to have a really nasty cold.

In general though, flu will knock you off your feet for a good few days and quite possibly longer (I've only had full blown flu once, and I was in bed for a week, and limp for a further week, only getting properly better in the third).

Flu season in the northern hemisphere starts about now, and will last until about March. Though that's rule of thumb, flu can circulate at any time of year.

PurplePillowCase Mon 09-Oct-17 08:12:29

Unless you think you are going to die it's not flu!

not quite true.
flu can present just like a cold or have no symptoms at all. it can also be quite severe and kill people.
when the swineflu did the rounds in 2009, dc had it badly, dh hat a snotty nose& headache and I was fine (we were all tested due to dc being so ill)

Penguin27 Mon 09-Oct-17 15:18:48

It's interesting to see that flu isn't always really bad, for some reason I had very black and white thinking in the flu equals deathbed (not literally!)

So if a vulnerable person (ie a pregnant lady) caught a 'mild' flu, would she need to worry about the complications that they say are risky to her and the unborn child?

MissConductUS Mon 09-Oct-17 17:19:35

I had very black and white thinking in the flu equals deathbed

It's misleading to think of the flu as one disease. It's a whole family of related, constantly mutating viruses, some of which are quite dangerous.

Your immune system changes during pregnancy. The research isn't completely consistent on how, but it certainly does change:

www.sciencenews.org/blog/growth-curve/pregnant-womens-immune-systems-overreact-flu

Please, get the vaccine as scheduled.

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